FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE produced the performance of her life to stun world No3 Caroline Wozniacki and become the first Italian woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 56 years.
The 29-year-old dominated from start to finish, outgunning the Danish teenager with a powerful all-round game before coming though 6-2, 6-2 at a rain-sodden Roland Garros.
Schiavone broke her opponent’s serve six times, and said: “It’s an honour for me to play here. I played really well. I’m enjoying it so much.
“I have been doing this job all of my life. It’s a very special emotion to reach the semi-finals especially when you work hard every morning, every afternoon.”
Schiavone will now play Russian Elena Dementieva in the last four after the fifth seed came from a set down to beat Nadia Petrova 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 and reach her first French Open semi-final since 2004.
Both players struggled with injuries in an error-strewn match but Dementieva, seeking a first Grand Slam success at the 46th time of asking, won through after comfortably taking the final two sets.
In the remaining quarter-finals, played today, world No1 Serena Williams takes on Australian Sam Stosur, while fourth seed Jelena Jankovic faces Kazakhstan’s giant-killer Yaroslava Shvedova.
Meanwhile, in the other men’s quarter-final, Andy Murray’s conqueror Tomas Berdych marched on after he destroyed Mikhail Youzhny for the loss of just six games.
The in-form Czech clinched his place in a first Grand Slam semi-final with a comfortable 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 victory over the Russian.
It signals a remarkable change in fortune for the 15th seed, who had been eliminated in the second round in five of his six previous appearances at Roland Garros.